SPORTENG specialises in the planning, design and construction phase consulting services of Fields of Play across all sports in Australia. Our experienced team all contribute towards designing high-quality Fields of Play for all levels of use.


Soccer, also known as football, continues to grow in popularity and participation at a community level across Australia.

Close up of a soccer ball on a natural turf soccer sports field in a stadium

Like other natural turf Fields of Play, the design for a soccer/football pitch combines engineering with agronomy and irrigation design. All three areas need to be equally represented and, most importantly, integrated into the design process to ensure the pitch is properly designed:

  • Engineering ensures that the subgrade is adequately considered and that the drainage is correctly designed to accommodate the infiltration rate of the overlying profile.
  • Agronomy quickly removes surface water through the profile and into a horizontal draining profile or vertical draining profile.
  • Irrigation quickly removes surface water through the profile and into a horizontal draining profile or vertical draining profile.

SPORTENG’s in-house design team addresses these key elements to ensure the design of your pitch is completed to a high quality and meets your needs and those of FIFA and Football Australia.

FIFA has approved the use of natural turf and synthetic grass as playing surface options to accommodate the needs of international teams.

Our teams have delivered many natural turf and synthetic grass soccer pitches across Australia and have accumulated vast knowledge and expertise on best practices.

Our technical expertise underpins all our projects, and we are regularly called upon to work on projects of high significance.

No matter if you’re a governing body or a local school, you will benefit from a sports field that puts the athlete first.

We guarantee that SPORTENG’s designs will meet your needs while complying with FIFA and Football Australia standards.

SPORTENG projects run on time and on budget due to our team’s comprehensive 3D design work, exceptional engineering expertise, agronomic and irrigation consultation, along with clear on-site direction.

Our Design Approach

SPORTENG lives and breathes Fields of Play. We take our love of the game from the grandstand right into our office. We’re proud to be Australia’s leading Field of Play design consultancy.


Our attention to detail is reflected in our mantra, ‘measure twice, cut once’.

We’re dedicated to achieving the best results for your venue and its athletes, whether it’s a local legend or the next international star.

Whether we design a pitch for an elite venue or a community facility, our approach doesn’t change. We undertake a detailed assessment of the existing site to ensure that we:

  • Know the condition of the existing subgrade.
  • Locate drainage points of discharge.
  • Determine the water supply pressure and flow for the irrigation system.
  • Identify any site constraints.

Once we have a deeper understanding of the site, we brief and work with the client to create a pitch on time and on budget.

Sustainability Practices

Close up of a synthetic turf surface with white line marking on an outdoor soccer Field of Play

Here at SPORTENG, we take a sustainable approach to all our designs. Not happy with just the status quo, we always strive to investigate new designs and construction techniques that deliver positive environmental outcomes.

We believe sustainability is intertwined with sports greatness.

As part of this, we integrate your requirements, from budget to performance values, through to sustainability practices – this ensures we achieve a successful result.

We consider the following design outcomes in our sustainability approach for natural turf Fields of Play. These design outcomes include:

  • Designing an irrigation that is as efficient as possible to minimise precipitation requirements.
  • Specifying a playing surface profile that supports healthy turf growth.
  • Nominating a durable and drought-tolerant turf species that addresses the end users’ performance requirements.
  • Consider the use of recycled materials in the growing medium.

When we design a synthetic grass pitch, we consider and address added environmental elements in the planning and design process:

  • End-of-life consideration allows us to specify cradle-to-cradle materials and products that have a circular upcycle process at the end of its design life rather than a linear ‘take-make-waste’ process.
  • Prioritising organic and infill free systems allow us to specify the use of organic infills or systems that have no performance infill layer.
  • The risk of microplastic displacement from the synthetic grass system means we ensure the pitch is fully enclosed to prevent infill displacement from the surface.

Synthetic Grass Microplastics Management

Optimize your synthetic grass Field of Play.


The SPORTENG team considers the whole-of-life cycle and the use of recycled materials at every stage of design and construction. We make sure that a sustainable end-product starts at the beginning of design.

Soccer and Football Profile Options

When selecting the appropriate natural turf profile for your pitch, there are several options you can consider. Our decisional flow chart can help you marry your hours of use requirements for the pitch with the appropriate playing surface profile.




Aerial view of an outdoor soccer sports field with synthetic turf surface
Aerial view of an outdoor blue synthetic surface soccer sports field

Unlike other ball sport, the ball’s relationship to the surface is as important as the foot-to-surface relationship.Ensuring that a soccer ball can roll and bounce is key to a successful soccer pitch. We believe that implementing these key principles can make this happen:

  • Playing surface profile meets the needs of the users which allows the performance of the profile to cater for the proposed weekly hours of use. The use of hybrid turf can increase the durability of a natural turf surface.
  • Effective drainage quickly removes surface water through the profile and into subsurface drainage system, while retaining adequate moisture levels in the profile for the turf.
  • Efficient irrigation ensures that there’s high uniformity across the whole surface.

Using synthetic grass allows for more usage for the field. For instance, teams who play on the same pitch throughout the day won’t be playing on a surface that’s been impacted by the use during the day.

FIFA allows for the use of synthetic grass soccer pitches. The key design principles for a synthetic grass surface differ from that of natural turf, and include:

  • Appropriate and compliant synthetic grass system, including underlying shockpads, must adhere to the AFL/CA standards and address the needs of the user and community. Variations in the secondary criteria are influenced by the different infill that are used.
  • Effective drainage quickly removes surface water through the profile and into a horizontal draining profile or vertical draining profile.
  • Long-term surface tolerance adherence is a key difference between these surfaces. The movement of natural turf can be addressed through topdressing, but the playing surface for synthetic grass cannot move over time. This is because level changes cannot be addressed through topdressing. The pavement and underlying subgrade must have a design life that shouldn’t move and is in excess of at least twenty years.

Soccer and Football Requirements

Close up of players legs trying to shoot in soccer ball on a natural turf soccer sports field


Achieving the appropriate geometry is more than just the length and width. Run-offs must be meet, which means that all perimeter infrastructure, such as fences and benches, must be outside the run-off offset.

Portable soccer goals storage

You should consider the storage of portable goals outside the field of play fence line. These must be secured locations and be located to make setting up the goals simple.

High-wear areas

High-wear areas, such as the penalty boxes, can be enhanced through profile reinforcement or hybrid turf systems.

FIFA have developed a detailed quality testing system for using synthetic grass systems in the development of pitches.